22" barrel or less unbraked mountain rifle

angus-5024

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Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
1,145
Hi all. I am going to be buying another rifle soon. I would like something in a backpacking weight. I have a bit of a fondness for .338 cal rifles, which don't really go hand in hand with light or short.
I already have a .338 RUM that is 9.5 lbs and a 18 lbs Lapua, with a 26"+brake and a 28" +brake barrel. I want something a little handier and lighter for backpacking. I have a pretty stiff set of requirements though.
-60* bolt throw
-detachable mag
-factory ammo available
-under 7lbs
I would love to build a 24" Lapua, which I think would be a great trade off in ballistics for 2" of barrel, but Weatherby doesn't have a detachable mag for the Mark V and Sako 75 and 85's are to small for the round.
Does anyone have any ideas? The obvious answer is to go to a 300WSM or .338WIN in a tikka or Sako and forget the rest. I just love fast .338's

Thanks in advance
 

el matador

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Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
647
If you haven't shot a sub-7lb rifle in a magnum chambering I would recommend doing it before buying one. Or stand behind a horse and slap it hard on the butt. Same experience. I had a plain jane Rem 700 in 338 WM and it kicked really hard with 250 grain bullets. 225s were more manageable but still unpleasant, and this from a gun that went close to 9 pounds scoped. I doubt you'll find much in the way of factory rifles that meet your requirements because very few people could handle the recoil.

I love the 338s too, but for a light gun with no brake you should probably look at lighter bullets. I'd go with a .30 caliber because you'd have a wide range of bullet weights and factory ammo available. With a 300 magnum, either standard or short, you can get anything from 150 to 200 grain bullets at most stores. Try the heavy stuff since you like hard hitting bullets and if the recoil is too much you can drop down to a comfortable level.

If you are really set on a 338 I would stick with the Win Mag and 225 grain or lighter bullets.

You may also consider a Browning in 325 WSM if you don't mind relatively few choices for factory ammo.
 

J E Custom

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Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,723
Location
Texas
I needed the same kind of rifle and chose the 338 RCM for a compact 338 cartridge. It is very powerful and fits the need for a light weight pack rifle. My 338 rum weighs 12 pounds, and my 338 Texan weighs 14 pounds.

My 338 RUM will push a 250 grain bullet to 2900+ft/sec.
My 338 Texan will exceed 3100 ft/sec using a 300 grain bullet
My 338 RCM will push a 225 grain to 2800 ft/sec with a 22" barrel.
the downside to the 6 pound 338 RCM is recoil and it needs a muzzle brake to tame it.

The RCM is built on a model 7 action and is very compact but powerful ( the 200 grain produces almost 3900 ft/lbs of muzzle energy and the 225 grain is right at 3800+ ft/lbs of muzzle energy).
plenty for large game.

Ammo is available in both bullet weights, and reloading is straight forward.

J E CUSTOM
 

WildRose

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Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
12,075
Location
N. Texas and S. Africa
Hi all. I am going to be buying another rifle soon. I would like something in a backpacking weight. I have a bit of a fondness for .338 cal rifles, which don't really go hand in hand with light or short.
I already have a .338 RUM that is 9.5 lbs and a 18 lbs Lapua, with a 26"+brake and a 28" +brake barrel. I want something a little handier and lighter for backpacking. I have a pretty stiff set of requirements though.
-60* bolt throw
-detachable mag
-factory ammo available
-under 7lbs
I would love to build a 24" Lapua, which I think would be a great trade off in ballistics for 2" of barrel, but Weatherby doesn't have a detachable mag for the Mark V and Sako 75 and 85's are to small for the round.
Does anyone have any ideas? The obvious answer is to go to a 300WSM or .338WIN in a tikka or Sako and forget the rest. I just love fast .338's

Thanks in advance
The first time you pull the trigger you're going to think you've been hit by a cannon ball and if you take a shot in low light you will be blind.
 

Gregger

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Joined
Apr 18, 2018
Messages
65
Location
Greene ny
Good plan. The .338F is quite impressive out to about the 400-600yds range pretty well mirroring .30-06 ballistic drops.
And it does it with a heavier bullet. But for real magnum power the 338RCM in a Ruger M77 comes with a short 20in barrel, but you will pay for it in recoil.
 

FEENIX

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
16,392
Location
Great Falls, MT
.338-06 for your consideration >>> https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/.338-06+A-Square.html

https://www.grafs.com/catalog/category/categoryId/265

https://www.midwayusa.com/338-06-a-square/br?cid=10575

For what it is worth ...
23 1/2", 1:9"
(1) 200 Hornady SST, 56.4g IMR 4895 @2900 FPS
(2) 225 Hornady SST, 53g IMR 4895 @ 2700 FPS

(Source: Hornady reloading manual 10th ed pg 654, 655.)

ZpZvIWW.jpg


(http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp)

"IF" recoil is reduced by an effective muzzle brake by 50%; 14.69 and 15.2 FT-LB respectively.
 
Last edited:

Rick Richard

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Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
4,105
Location
North Carolina
300 WSM would be my choice for short and unbraked. However if you are really wanting a 338, than I would go with JE Custom recommendation...ouch though.
 

J E Custom

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Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,723
Location
Texas
The first time you pull the trigger you're going to think you've been hit by a cannon ball and if you take a shot in low light you will be blind.

My 6.5 pound (Fully dressed) 338 RCM wanted to climb badly with the 225 grain bullets with no brake, so fast follow up shots were out of the question. Measured recoil was 40.2 ft/lbs without a brake. (Mean but not unmanageable).

With a tuned brake, recoil was reduced to 18.9 ft/lbs (Less than a 30/06) a little more than 54% reduction. Not great but it did make the little rifle behave and be very manageable.

It is a lot of power in a small package.

J E CUSTOM
 
Last edited:

angus-5024

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Joined
Jan 22, 2008
Messages
1,145
Thanks for the input guys. There are some great suggestions here.
I guess I should have been a little more clear though. I need to stick to more common calibers. I am a B.C resident, so being in Canada firearm components/ammunition is substantially more difficult to find. I travel to northern B.C once a year and if anything happensto my ammunition It can be a pretty long drive to get more.
So I guess I was hoping someone knew of a .338 Cal rifle/caliber that gives 2600-2700 fps with a 250 grain bullet out of a 22-24 inch barrel... or just go to the 300wsm.

As far as recoil goes, I handle African rounds from the bench for 50+ rounds holding good groups. Not that I want that kind of recoil, but I can handle it.
The main thing would be spotting my own shots, follow up shots in close, and the one I hand not thought of- flash at dusk.
I carried a 340 wby unbraked for years, and it was fine (8.5lbs). That or the rum would be a great caliber but its the long barrel and hard to find ammo.

As to the "lose some weight and suck it up, carry the heavy one" mentality... All due respect, I don't need it. I knew that someone say it. The key thing is the barrel length. I'm crawling under deadblow for 3+km sometimes before hitting open county, so 4"+ of barrel length does make a difference. Also, I compete in combat sports where I need to weigh in, so my weight is on point to say the least.

I guess that I was in the right general direction with either the 300wsm or .338 Win in a tikka or sako. Im tempted by a wby, but no detachable mag. I have also thought of fierce.
Is there a good custom action with a 60* throw that excepts DMs and with fit a Lapua diameter cartridge?

Thanks guys. Keep it coming if you think of anything.
 

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